Of course, that’s different from sitting down and writing a piece of code from front to back that accomplishes anything … I’m a mere copier, understanding the words, but not capable of assembling a sentence on my own. And I think that’s beginning to get to me. I read an article on aol yesterday about something called App Academy, which is an intensive 3-month many-hour-a-week course (in person only, SF and NY), in which you learn web programming and get a job in the 60+K range almost immediately, seemingly guaranteed.
Seven weeks in, and I don’t know if I could write a simple program without referencing the books. A lot. I feel like I should know … more … better. And the missing manual book has tutorials, but they’re hand-holding walkthroughs. I want to be thrown into the deep end, but I want someone there to advise me how to flail my way out as well. If I throw myself into the deep end unsupervised, I think I’ll just sink. blub … blub … blub.
So today I first got a bit morose (after doing my 20 pages of jQuery, that is, can’t stop work for a little despondency), and I watched all of my HCI free-online class videos for the week, and I created my project idea for that class, and I did my Dreamweaver Tutorial book chapter, but instead of feeling accomplished, all I felt was “ok, but I still don’t know how to program something.”
So I went back online and found a course starting next week on MITx (another free online thingy) which is an intro to programming in Python (?) (never heard of it, but that should be irrelevant, right? Everyone says once you can think in one language, new ones are easier. Man I hope that’s true…), in which according to the professor’s intro, they just toss you into the deep end, but there’s guidance, even if minimal and mainly provided by the others busy flailing and sinking next to me.
So I guess this free online learning thing is addictive. Well, that remains to be seen … signing up for it is addictive, anyway. And the jury’s out as to whether anyone in the hiring business thinks the resulting certificates are worth the paper they’re written on. (Though honestly I want the information, not the certificate so much. It’ll be nice, but more important is that when I talk about my skills, I’ll really know what I say I know, and when I have a job to do, I know how to do it. Without that nothing else matters, and with that, well, nothing else should matter anyway.)
Of course, I can always tell future employers I have my bachelor’s degree from William and Mary (which is true) and my master’s degree from Wichita State University (which is also true) … the fact that the bachelor’s degree is with concentrations in Government and Fine Art, and the master’s is a M.F.A. in Painting doesn’t have to come up, does it?